Regularly hitting the gym religiously doing your classes every day, working your butt off (you wish) …..and still not getting stronger?

Welcome to the infamous fitness plateau.

But don’t be alarmed: There are ways to stop feeling stagnant and move forward on that fitness quest.

If there’s one key to moving beyond a plateau, it’s a surprise. Plateaus occur because your body adapts to your training, your diet or both. The more you work out and the higher your fitness level reaches, the faster your body adapts. You need to know how to surprise your body into working harder. You almost have to sneak up on your own body.

It’s all about changing things. Change your routine, diet, or program—just do something your body doesn’t expect so it has to work harder to do what you ask it to do. It may not feel like it, but you’re in control of this plateau, just like you’re in control of the weight you use. You just need to figure out how to take the reins.

Hit those dumbbells for the first time, and the results may be pretty immediate. But as people gain strength in a specific movement, the body requires new stimulus to grow. Research suggests that after anywhere from one to six weeks, the body will adapt to a typical fitness routine.

There’s no one reason why gym bunnies may stop seeing progress, but both beginners and vets alike may see their strength gains start to wane. One answer is to change things up, and we have some tips to keep making progress (and keep things fresh!) on the gym room floor.

Storm Your Plateau — Your Action Plan – 1

  • Add intensity. Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race. Try upping the intensity to continue building muscle. Swap out a long, slow run with some treadmill intervals, or lunge instead of walk to travel to the next exercise location.
  • Change the moves. Been sticking to the bench press? Try a push-up instead. Stuck on conventional deadlifts? Switch to sumo! This will target the same muscles in a different way.  (Sneaky, sneaky!)
  • Cross train. Mixing in a variety of training styles will target different muscles (and challenge the mind!). Cross training might even reduce the risk of injury as well, so hop off the elliptical and use the bike instead.
  • Switch the order. Try changing up the order of strength training exercises to tire muscles at different times. (Those push ups will be a lot harder at the end of a workout.) Just remember, bigger muscle groups should almost always be worked first, and avoid saving explosive-based training for the end.
  • Vary repetitions. No need to stick to the same number of reps and sets for every move. Switch up the number of squats and superman’s to surprise and challenge the body. Going heavier for fewer reps? Just be sure to increase weight gradually. Higher weight will stimulate hormones that aid in muscle growth, but adding too much weight at once could lead to injury.
  • Change rest between sets. There’s a big difference between resting for 60 seconds, and the time it takes to fill out your tax return. To mix things up in the weight room, shorten or lengthen rest time to affect muscle endurance. Or, skip the rest altogether and head into a superset or circuit. (The rest comes after each series is through!)
  • Pinpoint the problem. Here’s some tough love. Hating squats doesn’t mean leaving them out. Identify the exercise that causes some trouble, and in the words of Nike, Just Do It. It’ll only make the body stronger!
  • Rest. On those days off, muscles rebuild in stronger formations. So don’t forget to take it easy every now and then (the amount of rest depends on the person) to really see that strength develop

Storm Your Plateau — Your Action Plan – 2 (the slightly easier way)

All of the above sounds great, but, if you want to get someone else to do the thinking for you, and you want to come along, enjoy your workouts, get past that plateau and get the results….read on.

Here at True, we’ve gone out of our way to provide variety….why?? Because variety, not only being the spice of life, helps you change up your training so you get results.

Try Tribe – let you trainer help you with intensity, changing sets, changing reps and exercises. Thats what the program is designed for.

Try Boxing – ….. same as above!!

Try a new Group Fit class. If you “hate” RPM, try it again, give it a go and see the difference it makes…same for the other classes

Work out with a PT – this is by far the most effective way to break through. Your PT will see you every week and rolls all the above into a nice neat package!

Give Nikks’ Boot Camp on Wednesday’s a go!

What next?

The 6 week Tribe Team Training trials are on this week and they are free to join in. The 6 week season starts next week. Call us to book

Boxing season starts this week – get your skates on if you want to join in!